Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

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Warren
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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by Warren »

D.A. Ridgely wrote: 17 Feb 2020, 11:46
If you are looking to give Marx some credit, and I think it's fair to say that the man was better than his disciples (something that could also be said about, oh, say, Freud), he was a pioneer in rejecting idealism even if he did embrace Hegel's dialectic lock, stock and barrel. That's not nothing.
I am so far from even I can't see it from here.
Both Marx and Freud* were spectacularly wrong about everything. Like Bill Kristol wrong.


*I studied both men accademically. So yes, I've read The Communist Manifesto and several of Freud's writings.
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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

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Warren wrote: 17 Feb 2020, 11:54
D.A. Ridgely wrote: 17 Feb 2020, 11:46
If you are looking to give Marx some credit, and I think it's fair to say that the man was better than his disciples (something that could also be said about, oh, say, Freud), he was a pioneer in rejecting idealism even if he did embrace Hegel's dialectic lock, stock and barrel. That's not nothing.
I am so far from even I can't see it from here.
Both Marx and Freud* were spectacularly wrong about everything. Like Bill Kristol wrong.


*I studied both men accademically. So yes, I've read The Communist Manifesto and several of Freud's writings.
Economics doesn't work that way. It simply doesn't.
The human brain doesn't work that way. It simply doesn't.
To say you "studied Marx" because you read a pamphlet that first ran 28 pp and still takes the average reader less than five hours to read is like saying I studied electrical engineering because I used to have a subscription to "Popular Electronics." Same with Freud and, no, btw, I'm hardly an expert on either.

Yes, in some really fundamental ways both Marx and Freud were dead wrong. I wasn't suggesting otherwise. So, also, that great empiricist Locke was wrong about the labor theory of value and the field of psychology has been riddled with bad theory as far back as Aristotle. And so it goes.
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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

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D.A. Ridgely wrote: 17 Feb 2020, 12:06 To say you "studied Marx" because you read a pamphlet that first ran 28 pp and still takes the average reader less than five hours to read is like saying I studied electrical engineering because I used to have a subscription to "Popular Electronics." Same with Freud and, no, btw, I'm hardly an expert on either.
It's a fair cop.
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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

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Short video about South Korea's experiment with (sort of) UBI

I kinda feel bad for that economist lady. She really struggled for relevant things to say.
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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

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That reminds me, I saw an article the other day (can't find it right now) about an experiment in Canada reporting positive results from just giving cash to homeless people. Some of the air was let out of the triumphalism by their admission that the experiment was limited to people who had only very recently become homeless, and who had been screened and adjudged not to have mental illness or substance abuse problems.

The experiment results are still worth something, but "Hey, kids, did you know that if people suffer from the problem 'lack of money', they can be helped by 'give them money'?" is not exactly earth-shaking news.
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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

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JD wrote: 14 Oct 2020, 12:07 That reminds me, I saw an article the other day (can't find it right now) about an experiment in Canada reporting positive results from just giving cash to homeless people. Some of the air was let out of the triumphalism by their admission that the experiment was limited to people who had only very recently become homeless, and who had been screened and adjudged not to have mental illness or substance abuse problems.

The experiment results are still worth something, but "Hey, kids, did you know that if people suffer from the problem 'lack of money', they can be helped by 'give them money'?" is not exactly earth-shaking news.
This. So much this. Homelessness is so much more than just cashlessness.
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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

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I thought that was an interesting scheme. I like the "buy local" requirement, but wonder how a policy like the "buy local" requirement could work on a national level. I think that a program on a local level where that kind of requirement is too small to be worth arguing about for large companies starts to attract attention and lobbying when it scales up. Maybe national or international chains don't worry about one province / state, but when it's the whole country, now they're definitely missing out on a significant market, and now the lobbying comes out to be included.

Economist lady did seem to have to go to the super basic explanations for things to say, at least how they edited that. But I'd think that the fungibility is more of a feature than a bug. It's what allows you to tie in that buy local requirement in the first place, given that this seems to be not intended to be anyone's sole source of income.
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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

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JD wrote: 14 Oct 2020, 12:07 That reminds me, I saw an article the other day (can't find it right now) about an experiment in Canada reporting positive results from just giving cash to homeless people. Some of the air was let out of the triumphalism by their admission that the experiment was limited to people who had only very recently become homeless, and who had been screened and adjudged not to have mental illness or substance abuse problems.
I don't know that those two limits on the program do that much to invalidate it, tho. If you're looking to tackle the overall size of homelessness, you're probably a lot better off dealing with the temporarily homeless first, and getting them out of the support system faster. Then you've made a big difference in the amount of time that people are depending on the system, and probably reducing the number of people who fall into chronic homelessness.

Dealing with nearly every problem starts with picking the low-hanging fruit first. It would be interesting to see 1) how much that reduces the overall population of homeless people and 2) if that then allows you to focus a different effort on the mental health issues of the people who do have the mental illness or substance abuse (frequently brought on by the mental illness) issues.
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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

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Highway wrote: 14 Oct 2020, 12:29 I don't know that those two limits on the program do that much to invalidate it, tho. If you're looking to tackle the overall size of homelessness, you're probably a lot better off dealing with the temporarily homeless first, and getting them out of the support system faster. Then you've made a big difference in the amount of time that people are depending on the system, and probably reducing the number of people who fall into chronic homelessness.

Dealing with nearly every problem starts with picking the low-hanging fruit first. It would be interesting to see 1) how much that reduces the overall population of homeless people and 2) if that then allows you to focus a different effort on the mental health issues of the people who do have the mental illness or substance abuse (frequently brought on by the mental illness) issues.
Oh, the results are fine as far as they go. The problem is really with the presentation and the takeaway, which was more like "The homeless can be helped by direct cash payments, full stop." But "the homeless" are not one monolithic population, obviously. What helps a working, non-mentally-ill, non-substance-abusing homeless person is probably going to be very different from what helps a severely schizophrenic drug-addicted homeless person. And if you are cherry-picking the low-hanging fruit, to mix metaphors, it's a bit dishonest to bury the lede. There's nothing wrong with solving the problems you can solve, only with presenting it as a general solution.
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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

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What is there to like about the buy local requirement? There is nowhere for me to buy groceries that isn't owned by a national or global company. Even if I can find a farmer's market or a bodega or a clothing boutique within my exclusion zone, I am still spending more time and money going to them than I am buying everything at Target.

And when I shop at my local Kroger affiliate, I am paying the salaries of the people who work there, who all live in or around my neighborhood. 'Round these parts Kroger makes a big schmeal of buying from local growers and producers, but your locally-owned bodega is ordering out of a wholesale catalog and getting their produce and dry goods from parts unknown.

The buy local requirement strikes me as more of a feel-good vote-getter than a practical policy, and the biggest bug of the whole program.
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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

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Listen, if you can't buy bananas at your local farmer's market or pretty much any fruits or vegetables in
winter, that just means you shouldn't be appropriating the cultural produce history of Latin America and should have done more canning and pickling after the harvest, you capitalist imperialist oppressor pig!
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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

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Hugh Akston wrote: 14 Oct 2020, 12:51 What is there to like about the buy local requirement? There is nowhere for me to buy groceries that isn't owned by a national or global company. Even if I can find a farmer's market or a bodega or a clothing boutique within my exclusion zone, I am still spending more time and money going to them than I am buying everything at Target.

And when I shop at my local Kroger affiliate, I am paying the salaries of the people who work there, who all live in or around my neighborhood. 'Round these parts Kroger makes a big schmeal of buying from local growers and producers, but your locally-owned bodega is ordering out of a wholesale catalog and getting their produce and dry goods from parts unknown.

The buy local requirement strikes me as more of a feel-good vote-getter than a practical policy, and the biggest bug of the whole program.
So much this. I hate "buy local". It means you don't have the first fucking clue how wealth is created.
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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

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D.A. Ridgely wrote: 14 Oct 2020, 14:10 Listen, if you can't buy bananas at your local farmer's market or pretty much any fruits or vegetables in
winter, that just means you shouldn't be appropriating the cultural produce history of Latin America and should have done more canning and pickling after the harvest, you capitalist imperialist oppressor pig!
I am reminded of a story that a chef friend of mine once told. At a high-end catering company where he was working, a client for one event wanted all of the food to be local, or at least regional. Great, the caterers said, New York has lots of awesome options. And the client wanted fruit served for dessert. The caterers pointed out that in New York in very early spring, when the event was going to be held, the options were pretty much going to be limited to some very early rhubarb if you could get it, and some very old apples if you couldn't... (It's been a long time, but I think the client eventually gave up on the requirement for dessert. Yes, I know rhubarb is technically not a fruit, but it was about as close as you could come to the request.)
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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

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thoreau wrote: 14 Oct 2020, 12:17
JD wrote: 14 Oct 2020, 12:07 That reminds me, I saw an article the other day (can't find it right now) about an experiment in Canada reporting positive results from just giving cash to homeless people. Some of the air was let out of the triumphalism by their admission that the experiment was limited to people who had only very recently become homeless, and who had been screened and adjudged not to have mental illness or substance abuse problems.

The experiment results are still worth something, but "Hey, kids, did you know that if people suffer from the problem 'lack of money', they can be helped by 'give them money'?" is not exactly earth-shaking news.
This. So much this. Homelessness is so much more than just cashlessness.
Well, kinda. A lot of the research is suggesting homelessness is in large part houselessness. Which is why housing first interventions are showing such promise.
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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

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Shem wrote: 15 Oct 2020, 01:24
thoreau wrote: 14 Oct 2020, 12:17
JD wrote: 14 Oct 2020, 12:07 That reminds me, I saw an article the other day (can't find it right now) about an experiment in Canada reporting positive results from just giving cash to homeless people. Some of the air was let out of the triumphalism by their admission that the experiment was limited to people who had only very recently become homeless, and who had been screened and adjudged not to have mental illness or substance abuse problems.

The experiment results are still worth something, but "Hey, kids, did you know that if people suffer from the problem 'lack of money', they can be helped by 'give them money'?" is not exactly earth-shaking news.
This. So much this. Homelessness is so much more than just cashlessness.
Well, kinda. A lot of the research is suggesting homelessness is in large part houselessness. Which is why housing first interventions are showing such promise.
Even just giving people free SROs can keep them from freezing to death beside a dumpster, somewhere. Much better chance of waking up again from a drunken stupor when you're indoors.
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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

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Eric the .5b wrote: 15 Oct 2020, 07:07
Shem wrote: 15 Oct 2020, 01:24
thoreau wrote: 14 Oct 2020, 12:17
JD wrote: 14 Oct 2020, 12:07 That reminds me, I saw an article the other day (can't find it right now) about an experiment in Canada reporting positive results from just giving cash to homeless people. Some of the air was let out of the triumphalism by their admission that the experiment was limited to people who had only very recently become homeless, and who had been screened and adjudged not to have mental illness or substance abuse problems.

The experiment results are still worth something, but "Hey, kids, did you know that if people suffer from the problem 'lack of money', they can be helped by 'give them money'?" is not exactly earth-shaking news.
This. So much this. Homelessness is so much more than just cashlessness.
Well, kinda. A lot of the research is suggesting homelessness is in large part houselessness. Which is why housing first interventions are showing such promise.
Even just giving people free SROs can keep them from freezing to death beside a dumpster, somewhere. Much better chance of waking up again from a drunken stupor when you're indoors.
For that matter, making it legal to build SROs and rent them at full market rate would do much to alleviate the homeless problem. Back in 2017, when I'd only been in the GMA area for a year, I posted an article and made many comments about the homeless problem in Atlanta (specifically, that the shelters were being closed by the city. What's worse, for the shelters that did exist, they had some ridiculous-bullshit rules which made it literally impossible for any resident to work their way out -- shit like, nightly curfews of three in the afternoon. Good luck finding ANY sort of job where you can get back home that early.

The article had a photo of a woman and her two small kids who lived in the shelter; the three shared one room w/bunk beds, and down the hall were communal bathing facilities -- basically, they lived in an SRO. But, while it's legal to build such things as "homeless shelters," complete with humiliating and counterproductive rules like "not only is there a curfew, it's three in the fucking afternoon," it is NOT legal to build just an SRO building and rent it out the same way you rent apartments: tenants come and go as they please, no curfews.

I also calculated that my own apartment rented out for significantly less than a dollar per square foot per month, and that includes a lot of "luxury" square footage like, a laundry room and TWO full-sized bathrooms for the exclusive use of this household. There is also a good deal of dedicated storage space -- big walk-in closet, linen closet with built-in shelving, bathroom alcove which has no door to make it a closet, but does have deep, wide shelves which can hold scads of things -- I wouldn't be surprised if my current apartment's storage space alone is about as much square footage as that homeless woman and her two kids had. And, outside my personal apartment but on the apartment grounds is even MORE "luxury" stuff: community center, pool, couple blacktops for outdoor barbecuing, etc.

So I said this:
Jennifer wrote: 16 Jun 2017, 02:15 Blue-sky speculation: mine and Jeff's place is cheaper-than-average for this area, though not remotely "the cheapest" you can find; we're paying $950 for about 1200 square feet (with all in-apartment modern amenities including a sprinkler system, and a couple on-site luxuries we never use such as a swimming pool and community center); that's less than a dollar per square foot per month, and the conglomerate which owns this complex is obviously making a profit or else they wouldn't bother. And our under-a-dollar-a-foot could be even cheaper, if it did not include such things as our own laundry room with all necessary hookups, two full bathrooms and a full (though small) kitchen.

Suppose it were legal to build SRO or shared-bathroom-type housing, with modern safety features (such as sprinklers, and central heat and AC -- the latter is not a luxury, in Atlanta and surrounding environs), but without such "luxuries" as "private bathing facilities for each household" or "private full kitchens for each household" -- instead, there's men's and women's bathrooms-with-stalls on every floor, plus the coin-op shower facilities I mentioned upthread. Probably wouldn't be practical to rent out individual mini-apartments with shared kitchen facilities, but dorm-size refrigerators and microwave ovens can be bought cheaply, either to pre-equip the places, or for tenants to provide on their own. The room where that woman in the story was staying with her children is maybe -- dunno for sure, since you can't see the whole room in the picture, but assuming the wall-you-can't-see is just against the head of the single bed whose end is visible in that photo, and the door is very close behind whoever is taking the picture, say 200 square feet, maybe a little less? That could be rented out for $175 a month and still make a decent profit for the owner (I'm assuming a multi-story building here, of course); if a coin-op shower cost 50 cents for five minutes of hot water then an individual trying to keep clean in Atlanta summer would spend an additional $15 to $60 a month for personal bathing.

If a basic room to live in and store your personal essentials behind a locked door-- nothing fancy or luxurious, you have to use the bathroom down the hall rather than your own private one, and also keep quarters on hand to shower in addition to whatever quarters are already necessary to wash your clothes in the nearest coin-op laundromat -- could be had for only $175 per month, plus up to $60 monthly to keep your own self clean, homelessness wouldn't be nearly as big a problem in Atlanta as it is. A single person -- even a single mother -- who is only earning minimum wage could still swing that, and be able to pay all other expenses and even have a little left over to save for the future. There would still be a few unfortunates who couldn't even make that much, of course -- mainly people with serious mental illness issues -- but "the homelessness epidemic" wouldn't be such a thing. And the main reason such facilities don't exist for rent is because it's illegal for them to exist. You can only live like that in a homeless shelter, for a brief period of time, while following a bunch of obnoxious rules that make it hard if not impossible to hold any sort of job, and then you're expected to find a way to afford at least $500 or so for even a cheap one-bedroom apartment, plus utilities, plus deposits for the rent and utilities and so forth. (A quick Google search suggests some studio apartments in the area can be had for a little less than that -- except I can't find any with vacancies right now, and anyway I think that would only be allowed for a single individual, not someone like that mother in the CL story with the two young children.)
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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

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Jennifer wrote: 15 Oct 2020, 19:10
Eric the .5b wrote: 15 Oct 2020, 07:07
Shem wrote: 15 Oct 2020, 01:24
thoreau wrote: 14 Oct 2020, 12:17
JD wrote: 14 Oct 2020, 12:07 That reminds me, I saw an article the other day (can't find it right now) about an experiment in Canada reporting positive results from just giving cash to homeless people. Some of the air was let out of the triumphalism by their admission that the experiment was limited to people who had only very recently become homeless, and who had been screened and adjudged not to have mental illness or substance abuse problems.

The experiment results are still worth something, but "Hey, kids, did you know that if people suffer from the problem 'lack of money', they can be helped by 'give them money'?" is not exactly earth-shaking news.
This. So much this. Homelessness is so much more than just cashlessness.
Well, kinda. A lot of the research is suggesting homelessness is in large part houselessness. Which is why housing first interventions are showing such promise.
Even just giving people free SROs can keep them from freezing to death beside a dumpster, somewhere. Much better chance of waking up again from a drunken stupor when you're indoors.
For that matter, making it legal to build SROs and rent them at full market rate would do much to alleviate the homeless problem.
That's an excellent point for the functional people (and a good breakdown of the details). Probably for a huge chunk of the homeless.

I'm speaking more to the minority of people who can't function due to other problems beyond lack of money. Drunks, drug addicts, the severely mentally ill, etc. Somewhere to sleep will keep them alive.
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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

Post by Hugh Akston »

There are also housing for the homeless programs with medics, psychiatrists, drug counselors, and social workers on staff. When you know where people are living, it's easier to keep up with their conditions.
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Re: Money for Nothing: the Universal Basic Income

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Hugh Akston wrote: 16 Oct 2020, 01:57 There are also housing for the homeless programs with medics, psychiatrists, drug counselors, and social workers on staff. When you know where people are living, it's easier to keep up with their conditions.
I was a mental health counselor part-time at one for the better part of a year. Being there meant that most of them stayed stable enough to not wind up at the inpatient unit on the other side of town.
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